Wednesday 13 February 2013

Tutorial for a classic chignon

I love to play around with my hair, and has been attempting to create a classic chignon. I made an attempt in October, based on a tutorial from Brittany at Va-Voom vintage. I wasn't 100% happy with it though, and has been working on altering it to work with hair of different lengths and thicknesses. Now, just in time for Valentine's day, here's a version of the classic chignon! (Disclaimer: By no means the definitive or perfect version, just a version =) ).

If the text ends here, click on the blog title to continue reading... If the text continues, you're on the right page =)

Monday 11 February 2013

A jersey top and a cry for fitting aid

Moths ago I cut out this top, and then it ended up in the to-do pile. I sewed it early January, but then it took me nearly a month to get buttons and sew them on. Now it's ready... and I'm not sure I'm loving it.

The style is cute, and I like the sleeves. However, I botched the neck-band (now I know what not to do!) so it's not very neat where band meets buttonstrip:

Colour a bit off here, the other one's are more accurate.

My main issue with it though are these stresslines:

They disappear if I do like this:

Why are they there? Any ideas? I'm thinking it's because there's extra fabric over the overbust, but it might just as well be something totally different, like the depth of the sleeve-holes or the angle of the shoulder. Ideas, anyone?

Ah, well, at least this make is ready to wear. It will not go down in history as my most succesful make, but I'm sure it will get worn every now and then =) It would be nice to try to correct the pattern before any other jersey sewing takes place, though.

Love, Erika

Thursday 7 February 2013

A studio sewing table

Let me tell you a sad, sad story of the one worst moving-purges I've ever done (I promise, there's a happy end!). When I lived with my mom I had a pretty 60s teak writing desk. It was a perfect size, 80x120 cm, easily de-constructed for storage or transport and with two small drawers at one side, making it perfect to sew at since you could easily have two machines next to each other. However, this was before I fell in love with vintage, when 60s teak was just quaint, and before I started sewing on such an everyday basis or owned two sewing machines. But I did love the desk, and something about it spoke to me (maybe a premonition of the love affair to come! ;) ). I was moving up north (leaving home for the third and final time), having rented a partly furnished one bedroom appartement, with no additional storage space, second hand. At the same time mom and my sister Kajsa was moving to Malmö, and my brother Joakim was leaving the nest. The house was sold and everybody would have less space in their new homes - lot's of hard choices were made.
I loved that desk, I really did. But the appartement already had a desk, I anyway had a load of moving boxes I couldn't store anywhere except my bedroom and the hallway. Mom stood by the car, the desk halfway out and I hesitated, so very torn. Mom said "Will you take it with you or no? I'm going to the landfill now." I closed my eyes, pushed away the knot in my belly and said "Go."

Wrong decision. Totally wrong. And one I've regretted more times than I can count. For in the end I could have found space for it even in the furnished appartement - four legs and a slice of wood is easy to fit in and I anyway felt like I lived in a storage space that first year. When I moved to my own place it would have been perfect. Not so long after that the love-affair with vintage started, I began appreciating the old teak furnitures more and I started sewing more regularly. For five years I've searched for the twin of the desk I foolishly let go (don't think about the landfill, don't think about it smashed to pieces. D**n, too late.)

I try to tell myself that I've learned something very important through this: Sometimes it's hard to let go of old things because of misguided nostalgia, and then it's a sort of catharsis to clean them out. Hard to do, but you feel better afterwards. Other times, it's hard to let go because you deeply love something, even though it's not practical or doesn't fit in. And then it's foolish to ignore your resistance, it's better to keep what we deeply love close to us, and adjust the little things in life to them, instead if the other way around. The trick is to learn to tell the difference between nostalgia and true affection.

So, all of this said, I've been on the look out for a new sewing table for years. I've activly searched for two years, since moving to my non-student appartement and therefore having more stability in my living situation. And I've finally found it! And it's even better than the one that got away! May I introduce you to...

It's an old studio sewing table that belonged to the seller's passed away mother (a lady who apparently ran her own sewing studio). I'm pretty sure it's made to order, as there are so many unique features to it (and some signs of traditional woodman craft).

It's 110x150 cm (xxx"), so it's huge! At least in my book it's huge =) The surface is covered with something that has a suspicious similarity to plastic carpeting, but whatever it is, it's very unsensitive to needles, scissors etc, and the fabric doesn't shift around a whole lot on it. I like it =)

There are two sets of drawers, the bottom one on the right side is tailormade for hanging folders.

On the other shortside there's a beautiful shelf, perfect for storing boxes of sewing supplies and sewing reference books.

It was in pretty bad shape, but after some cleaning and a lot of teak oil it looks great. It was also a bit unstable, but some wooden plugs to secure the table top to the drawer unit and it's standing still =)

It is a bit big for my sewing area, but I don't care - I love it! Looking forward to spending lot's of hours at it for the next 40 years or so =) And I've learned my lesson: even if there comes a time in my life when I don't have room for it, I'll find a way to store it until I have space again. This time, I'm holding on!

I'm off to sewing, there's a lovely table calling to me for attention... =) Have a great weekend!

Love, Erika

Monday 4 February 2013

At the "home-stretch": the sweats are ready!

They're ready! The aforementioned sweatspants I spent three weeks drafting a pattern for are finally ready to be worn! Without further ado; ta-da:

And eh... that was really it... =)
The big question on everyone's minds (or at least the question that was burning through my mind when I made them), is probebly "Was it worth drafting a pair of regular trousers first? Was it really worth those three weeks and three toiles?!". And the answer is yes, to me it was totally worth it. They are so much more comfortable than any other pair of pants I have ever worn, that just for that sake alone it was worth it.

But also, I now have a pattern for trousers! Sure, it may need a little bit of tweaking before being made into for example a pair of 40s trousers, or flared 30s pyjama bottoms, but when I do decide to embarke upon a new pants-quest, I will be halfway there. In the meantime I'm chilling at home in my supercomy sweats =)

I'm thinking this pattern might work quite well for workout wear as well, I'd just slim down the width in the legs. One pattern at the time, slowly building the foundation for a totally me-made closet! These sweats also could have been a part of Sunny's Everyday wardrobe challenge, had I been a part of it, as it gives me something to wear with this cozy cardigan:

I got it a year and a half ago, and even though I love it, it hasn't gotten much wear due to the lack of suitable items to pair it up with.

That's all from the blessed land of comfy sweats! If you'll excuse me, I'm going to curl up in the sofa now... ; )

Love, Erika